"All innovations represent some break from the past––the lightbulb replaced the gas lamp, the automobile replaced the horse and cart, the steamship replaced the sailing ship. By the same token, however, all innovations are built from pieces of the past––Edison's system drew its organizing principles from the gas industry, the early automobiles were built by cart makers, and the first steamships added steam engines to existing sailing ships."
–– Andrew Hargadon, from How Breakthroughs Happen To learn more about Andrew Hargadon visit his website at http://andrewhargadon.typepad.com/
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature."
–– Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813